Ramana Nanda

Professor of Business Administration

Ramana Nanda is a Professor of Business Administration in the Entrepreneurial Management unit at Harvard Business School.  He teaches Entrepreneurial Finance in the second year of the MBA program and in HBS executive education offerings.

Ramana's research focuses on understanding the drivers of financing constraints for startups and on the ways in which the structure of the financial sector impacts innovation and entrepreneurship in the economy.  One strand of research has looked at debt financing for small businesses.  This work has examined how the availability and the cost of personal debt, such as home equity loans, as well as how the structure of the commercial banking sector, has shaped the entry and growth of small businesses.  A second strand examines the financing of innovation and the commercialization of new technologies. This work has studied how constraints to experimentation by venture capital and angel investors across industries, regions or time impact the rate and trajectory of innovation by startup ventures.   

Ramana is a Faculty Research Fellow in the Productivity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program at the NBER, and a Faculty Affiliate at the SME Initiative of Innovations for Poverty Action.  At Harvard University, he is a Faculty Affiliate of both the Center for International Development and the Center for the Environment.  He received his Ph.D. from MIT's Sloan School of Management and has a BA and MA in Economics from Trinity College, Cambridge, U.K. He is a recipient of the 2010 Kauffman Junior Faculty Fellowship in Entrepreneurship Research and the 2015 Kauffman Prize Medal, that is awarded annually to one scholar under age 40 whose research has made a significant contribution to the literature in entrepreneurship.

Prior to starting his Ph.D., Ramana was based in the London and New York offices of Oliver, Wyman & Company, where he worked primarily with clients in global capital markets as well as in small-business banking.  He continues to advise startup ventures on their financing strategies and also works with philanthropic investors who use market-based solutions to address poverty and promote entrepreneurship in developing countries.

  1. Winner of the 2015 Ewing Marion Kauffman Prize Medal for Distinguished Research in Entrepreneurship, awarded annually to one scholar under age 40 whose research has made a significant contribution to the literature in entrepreneurship.

  2. Won 2012 World Finance Conference Best Paper for "Investment Cycles and Startup Innovation" with Matthew Rhodes-Kropf.

  3. Awarded the 2009-2010 Kauffman Foundation Junior Faculty Fellowship in Entrepreneurship Research.

  4. Received the 2005-2006 Kauffman Foundation Dissertation Fellowship Award.

  5. Awarded a GBI-Stern Aspen Foundation Grant in 2004 for research on the Indian software industry.